In civil cases in Thailand, parties will generally engage in mediation in the court after a plaint is filed but before an actual lawsuit is entered into. This mediation process is designed to settle a dispute thereby reducing excessive proceedings in the courts.

The mediation process consists of both parties and a mediator. If both parties agree to each other's terms and are willing to settle, then the mediator will arrange for the parties to enter into a Compromise Agreement. If the mediation goes well, the court fees will be returned to the parties.

A draft Amendment to Civil Procedure Code may change this mediation process. This draft act would focus on the mediation process before the lawsuit. Under the draft amendment, once the Plaint is filed with the Court, any party may submit a motion to request that the court appoints a mediator for the mediation process.

The parties may submit an additional motion for the court to adjudge the terms of the compromise agreement under Section 138 of the Civil Procedure Code. Note that the court may reject such motion and decline adjudicating the terms of the compromise agreement if it is determined that the terms of the compromise agreement have been made in bad faith.

To submit this motion, the petitioner will have to pay 25 per cent of the Court fees according to table 1 of the court fees under the Civil Procedure Code as listed below, unless the court orders otherwise. Such fee would be returned to the petitioner in a case that the court declines to adjudge the compromise agreement.

If this amendment to the Civil Procedure Code is enacted, the mediation process in Thai Courts will be more complex because the process of court mediation will require additional motions to the court. In addition, a party will be required to pay 25 per cent of the court fees in order to request that the court render judgment to a compromise agreement.

We will continue to monitor the status of this draft amendment to the Civil Procedure Code, and provide updates when and if any changes occur.

Schedule 1: Court fees